Intertidal rocky shorelines can be found across the Channel Islands and the UK and are extremely vital for seabirds and other marine life. Within intertidal rocky shorelines, different marine species live at different shore levels. This is due to their ecological adaptions to the exposure of air from the falling tide.
The upper shore comprises of marine species that can cope with being exposed to the air for the longest time. This includes marine species, such as lichens and seaweeds. You can also find the strandline here, where debris washes up from the sea.
Upper shoreline marine algae
The middle shore comprises of marine species such as limpets and crabs. Their shells help protect them from exposure and predation.
The lower shore comprises of marine species that are that uncovered by the tide for a short time. This include species such as barnacles, kelp and blue-rayed limpets.
Lower shoreline barnacles
Lower shoreline juvenile kelp
Lower shoreline kelp
Some marine species also hide under boulders or in rockpools throughout the shoreline, to avoid exposure and predation. Even the most boring rock can have a variety of marine species underneath! Why not explore your nearest shorelines to see what you can find?
Mid-shoreline boulders appear a bit bland on top...
...but can have life underneath like this painted topshell...
...or this velvet swimming crab